Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scene 5a, lilies, questioning Annes new role



The next day, Anne enters through the back door. James hands her a list of tasks. It is lofty and long, more daunting than the day before. She gets to work, crossing things off as she goes. Again, by 5:00pm she has only crossed off ¾ of the tasks on her list.

As she walks down the street to her home, a woman who lives across the street takes notice of her as she is having an evening smoke on her porch. The woman scowls at Anne; she seems to be examining her.
Upon arriving home, Anne washes her dirty apron in the basin and hangs it to dry for the next day.
She soaks in the tub and wears a look of exhaustion.
Dressing for bed, she then budgets her finances by candlelight. Working the same set of numbers several time over, just to be sure.

At work the next day, it is lunchtime. Anne is sitting down in the employee quarters. She is exhausted. She has been working very hard and longer hours than she is used to and is making far less money then she was before. She quietly sits with her feet up. She is eating some bread and cheese. James walks in. She puts her feet down. He sits across from her.)

James: You look exhausted.
(Beat)
Tell me the truth Anne is this too much for you?

Anne: (Meekly) No.

James: It’s just… (He hesitates)

Anne: What?

James: Well, I don’t want to be coarse with you Anne. It’s just…. Things are falling behind. Tasks are being left undone or just taking too long. At this rate there is no way things can remain up to par. And I need to know…. Anne…Is this too much for you, because if it is, there are other…alternatives, you see, other people…

Anne: I’m just getting the hang of things that’s all. Yes of course I am able to keep up I’m just learning.
(Beat)
You do trust I am able don’t you?
(She looks at him, giving him a questioning look.)

James: (Eager to have the upper hand)
I hope so Miss Hibbert.
(He gets up)
I hope so. Look on the bright side Anne, my father is one of your strongest advocates…and you have not yet exhausted his patience.
(Chuckling)
Good day.
(He exits the Employee room.)

(Anne hangs her exhausted head in discouragement. How can she work harder? Didn’t they have four people tending to Conservatory maintenance before? How can she be expected to do the job of four people? How can he expect this of her? She goes over to the sink and washes her teacup.)

Outside, a truck pulls up.

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